Preventing ultraviolet radiation scalp injury in men
The damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) onthe skin and the importance of using photo protective sunscreenand other sun-protective measures for the prevention of UVR skininjury is well recognized. However, it is currently unknown if UVR isrecognized by men as a modifiable risk factor for scalp cancer and if photo protection for the skin and the scalp are used to thesame extent in a setting of high UVR exposure. To evaluate UVR scalp protection and knowledge about the role of UVR as a risk factor for scalp cancer in men, an anonymous questionnaire wasgiven to a convenience sample of male beachgoers onGalveston Island, Texas. Of the 248 survey responses, subjects withmild hair loss were more likely and subjects with advanced hair losswere even more likely to use sunscreen on their scalp than thosewho did not have hair loss (21 and 38 percent, respectively, vs. 7percent, p<0.0001). Those whose scalp was visible when looking inthe mirror were more likely to use a hat than those subjects whosescalp was not visible in the mirror (43 vs. 25 percent, p=0.0035). Survey respondents demonstrated greater knowledge about UVRdamage to the skin than UVR scalp damage (p<0.0001). The laterfinding supports the view that additional public education focusedon UVR scalp protection is needed.